Kidney Cancer

Bladder Stones

Bladder stones are less common than kidney stones, and usually don’t cause the excruciating pain associated with kidney stones. Still, they can be very unpleasant and make urination difficult and uncomfortable. The experts at Urology Partners skillfully remove bladder stones and address the issues that cause them.

Call 866-367-8768

Although most bladder stones are so small they can barely be seen, the largest one on record was seven inches long, five inches thick and weighed more than four pounds.

What are bladder stones?

Bladder stones are crystallized minerals that clump together when concentrated urine hardens in the bladder. When these stones rub against the lining of the bladder or obstruct urination, they create discomfort. Bladder stones mainly affect older men with prostate problems, but can occur in individuals due to dehydration or urinary tract infections. While some bladder stones don’t cause any symptoms, others can trigger pain in the lower back, an intense need to urinate, a burning sensation when urinating, blood in the urine, dark-colored urine, fever and penile pain in men. Left untreated, bladder stones can lead to infections and other complications.

What causes bladder stones?

The formation of bladder stones may be triggered by an underlying health condition such as a bacterial infection, a damaged urethra that blocks the flow of urine, an enlarged prostate, damage to the nerves that transmit signals from the brain to the bladder, a weak bladder or kidney stones that make their way into the bladder.

Diagnosing bladder stones.

Bladder stones are diagnosed using a combination of tools.

Physical examination of the lower abdomen to see if the bladder is enlarged. Men may receive a rectal exam to determine if their prostate is enlarged.

Urine test to check for microscopic amounts of blood, bacteria and crystallized minerals. A urine test also screens for signs of a urinary tract infection, which can cause bladder stones to develop.

Ultrasound imaging to provide an inside look at the bladder to see if stones are present.

CT scan to provide clear images that can detect very small stones inside the bladder.

X-rays of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder to check for bladder stones.  

Intravenous pyelogram in conjunction with x-rays.  Injected dye travels through the blood veins to the bladder and highlights any unusual formations in the bladder.

How are bladder stones treated?

Unlike kidney stones that sometimes pass on their own, bladder stones require treatment to be removed.

  • Cystolitholapaxy is often the first course of treatment. During this minimally invasive procedure, a long narrow tube called a cystoscope is inserted into the bladder. The cystoscope is equipped with a small camera on one end and connected to a stone-crushing device that uses laser energy or ultrasound waves to break up the stones into smaller fragments. If the bladder stones cannot be broken down, then surgery may be necessary.
  • Surgical removal is used to remove bladder stones that are too large or too hard to break up. If the bladder stones are caused by an obstruction or an enlarged prostate, these problems will also need to be treated at the same time.

Do you suffer from bladder stones?

Let the experienced and caring bladder stone specialists at Urology Partners help you live pain-free.

Call 866-367-8768

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